Listen we all know that IB advertise their commission structure for U.S.stocks as .01 for the first 500 and .005 for everything above that per order. Now we also know that as of right now tradestation is .012 for the first 500 then .006 for everything there after as well for U.S. Stocks. Here is the actual reality of what commissions really cost you with these places when applied to real life trading. Its basically .01 per share for IB and .012 per share for tradestation plain vanilla. They are actually both quite expensive brokers, yes you heard me quite expensive for these times anyway. Let me explain why: The reason is one simple gimmick that both IB and Tradestation both employ and keep hush hush and that is....... When you change the price of a limit order you automatically reset your trade back to square one and the .01 applies again. Let me illustrate as an example. MR TRADER wants to buy 1000 shares of NTES and it's trading currently at lets say at 60 x 60.1 . So MR TRADER places a limit order to buy 1000 shares at 60.1 because he wants to get in on the momentum so he is willing to take the offer and get in on the trade but he places a limit because MR TRADER is not a dummy. Well MR TRADER in real life as it will happen most times gets filled on 500 shares and then the market moves up on NTES to 60.1 x 60.2. Well MR TRADER wants this stock he knows its good for a big run intraday so he is not going to sit there and passively bid now at 60.1 so he changes his price to 60.2 and gets filled on his remaining shares at 60.2. He is now in NTES with an average price of 60.15 for 1000 shares nice job MR TRADER. Now IB is in the background snickering as they just charged MR TRADER 10 bucks for this trade instead of 7.5. Why? Because once MR TRADER changed his price he automatically reset his order according to boths firms policies and thus they charge MR TRADER .01 on the second 500 share fill instead of the .005. This is a fact of how IB and tradestation both pull the wool over their customers eyes as they both advertise how their commission rates save their customers money. Now in a real world situation I have been trading for many many years and I can say changing price on a limit order happens on average in around 80% of my trades, thus its very safe to say that on average the true cost of trading at IB is nearer to .01 per share and at Tradestation its .012 per share. Now I called while I had accounts at both places and spoke with managers about this scenario and said how very deceiving it was to have the commission structure reset on the same order simply because a limit price was moved up or down due to a partial fill. I said to both managers that it must be a very fattening revenue builder and boom to your bottom line to not allow orders that are changed to be kept as one order that is being changed at .01 for the first 500 and .005 for each there after. Both managers at both firms each said to paraphrase, "thats the way its is something we don't publicize but I know its pretty awful when you think about it." Anyhow, this is the truth as to how I now view these brokers as far as commissions are concerned. Let me say IB is a very fast broker and quite useful with the Universal Account and I do like them. TradeStation as well has tremendous usefulness; however I think its really overdone how both these firms paint a halo over their heads as being the savior of the retail trader in regards to commissions savings. I find it quite offensive when you total up your true commissions at the end of each day. You can thank the inability to change an order without it reseting as a new order in IB's and Tradestaions "eyes" for this. Is IB and tradestation aware of this? OF COURSE...do they care of course not Its their unadvertised way of making the real money on their customers. These are my rants on both of these companies.....It may not be what some want to hear but this is the truth. Look at your statements month to month. Give them a Call and talk to them about it. It will certainly open your eyes. Happy Trading!